After the smashing success of the CR-10, Creality3D has doubled down with the new, a similarly styled 3D printer with dual extrusion capabilities. Let's review the facts and check out the first impressions from the community.
In 2017 Creality 3D struck a chord with the hobbyist 3D printing community with the release of its CR-10 3D printer. Capable of high quality prints out of the box and packing a killer feature in its 300x300x400 print volume — a rarity back then — it rightfully took its place as the community’s go-to machine for printing big.
Fast forward to now and the landscape has changed. A 300mm-square print bed is commonplace, with the competition quickly drawing upon Creality’s success to inform their own 3D printer designs. Which begs the question: what’s next?
Dual extrusion. That’s what.
Or rather that’s the impression we get from Creality’s latest release, the CR-X. Promising “More Color, More Creality”, it is a dual extrusion 3D printer based upon the framework of the CR-10, albeit with a few new features over and above dual extrusion printing.
Boasting a new print head design that channels two filament feeds through a single nozzle, the CR-X is the first dual extruder 3D printer for Creality.
Initially teased in an announcement video that detailed the major step changes, Creality then released the printer to YouTube influencers, with Maker’s Muse and 3D Printing Nerd topping a short list of notable names going hands on with the printer first.
Their verdict? Mixed. Both channels took issue with different aspects of the CR-X and its build process, but the main takeaway is the lack of auto-bed leveling; lamentable on a machine that commands a considerably higher price point ($799) than Creality’s (and even the competition’s) previous 3D printers.
Despite the high visibility of the machine with numerous YouTube channels, the public will have to wait until the CR-x starts shipping in August.
Available for preorder on the likes of Gearbest, it is only recently that we have gotten a good look at exactly what this machine is. To begin with we’ll focus on the USP of the Creality CR-X — dual extrusion.
Two spool holders mounted atop the CR-X feed into two extruders, which are situated on both ends of the X-axis rail. From here, the two filaments pass through PTFE tubes into a single Y-splitter feeding into the CR-X’s hot end, before extrusion through a single 0.4mm nozzle.
Such a system relies upon arguably wasteful purge towers, or more experimental measures like purge- infill and objects in order to print clean breaks between the materials.
There’s no indication of any particular software shipping with the Creality CR-X for the preparation of dual extrusion prints, so chances are you’ll need familiarize yourself with your preferred slicer’s options.
The Creality CR-X features a 300 x 300 x 400mm print area, akin to that of the CR-10 before it. New for the CR-X however, is the inclusion of a coated glass bed that is not too dissimilar from Anycubic’s Ultrabase.
Creality describes the bed as being a “carboloy silicon printing platform”, which honestly seems like marketing fluff rather than anything particularly meaningful. Bottom line, it grips prints when hot and releases them when cool.
It would appear from the renderings we see of the printer that the print bed’s travel along the Y-axis is well supported, with the load spread and running over dual 2020 extrusions on eight pulleys.
A welcome new feature aimed at keeping things neat and tidy when the machine is in operation is a lone ribbon cable connecting the base unit to the X-axis stepper, dual extruders and hot end.
All of the guts of the Creality CR-X are located in the base, beneath the print bed. For interacting with the machine Creality has opted for a 4-inch color LCD touchscreen, which is found front and center on the base unit.
Interestingly, the Z-axis motion is handled by a belt-driven dual lead screw getup. A single stepper motor provides the power directly to the left lead screw, with a toothed pulley and belt system in turn driving a second lead screw on the right hand side of the printer. A necessary step, we suspect, given the additional weight of a second extruder motor on the X-axis rail.
To cap things off, over-sized bed screws allow for fine tuning when leveling the print bed.
Make: Creality 3D
Category: Desktop, semi-assembled
Print area: 300 x 300 x 400mm
Max. bed temp: –
Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Max. nozzle temp: –
Max. Z-axis resolution: 0.05mm
Z-axis accuracy: –
X/Y-axis accuracy: –
Max. print speed: 200mm/s
Max. travel speed: –
3rd Party material compatibility: Yes
Interface: 4-inch color LCD touchscreen
Boxed size: 640 x 540 x 340mm
Printer size: 550 x 400 x 650mm
Packaged weight: 15kg
Printer weight: 12kg
Power supply: 24V
License: The text of "Creality CR-X 3D Printer: Review the Facts & First Impressions" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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